Since it's fall, and all the food blogs are starting to hit the soups and stews, I thought I'd share a very multi-purpose word that has some pizzazz.
slumgullion: noun, a stew of meat, vegetables, and potatoes
a beverage made weak and thin, such as watery tea or coffee
the refuse of processing a whale carcass
a reddish mud deposit from mining sluices
Wow! talk about a word worth learning...four definitions is definitely impressive. How the etymology got from stew to whale carcass is a mystery, but hey, why not embrace it? Let's see if you can guess which definition I had in mind for the following sentences:
"Here, dear. Just a few more swallows of this delicious slumgullion and your throat will feel all better." (If you guessed the whale carcass one, you're wrong.)
*** Spoiler Alert: Don't read this sentence if you're reading Moby Dick!
Captain Ahab would have liked to reduce Moby Dick to a festering slumgullion, but alas, it was not to be. (Yes, whale carcass fans, you've guessed right this time.)
When her husband asked her what was for dinner, the clever wife answered with her newest vocabulary word, "How does some nice slumgullion sound?" Needless to say, he was very impressed by her knowledge of both words and cookery. (It does sound a lot more magnificent than stew, doesn't it?)